Dating usan tribal women
Trans-gendered depictions of The Great Mother and Her priestesses are found in ancient artifacts back to the earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia, Assyria, Babylonia and Akkad.Some historians portray MTF priestesses as being recognized as something sacred, while others portray them as undergoing castration in order to subvert matrilineal rule and wrest religious direction from the control of women. Greenberg, however, concludes that records of trans priestesses do date back "to the late Paleolithic (if not earlier)," suggesting that the advent of transgender priestesses was not simply a later reaction to feminine leadership and veneration.In Africa, intersexed deities and spritual beliefs in gender transformation are recorded in Akan, Ambo-Kwanyama, Bobo, Chokwe, Dahomean (Benin), Dogon, Bambara, Etik, Handa, Humbe, Hunde, Ibo, Jukun, Kimbundu, Konso, Kunama, Lamba, Lango, Luba, Lugbara (where MTFs are called okule and FTMs are called agule), Lulua, Musho, Nat, Nuba, Ovimbundu, Rundi, Sakpota, Shona-Karonga, Venda, Vili-Kongo, and Zulu tribes.Some of this tradition survives in West Africa, as well as Brazilian and Haitian ceremonies that derive from West African religions.
In earliest civilizations, throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Northern Africa, tribes of different types venerated what they often identified as "The Great Mother." In nearly all of these traditions, MTF priestesses (often castrated or with some form of eunuching, which included a number of different body modifications of the time) presided, and the cultures were primarily communal systems which held women (venerated as a source of life) in high esteem.I would like to think that much of the experience was genuine, although I'm not so naive to believe that accounts of castrated boys raised as wives of Roman or Turkish military leaders were consensual.History unfortunately sometimes can only touch the surface, not revealing the beauty and ugliness underneath.For centuries, Muslim tradition differentiated between MTF transsexuals who live as prostitutes or criminals, and those in whom femininity was innate and who lived blamelessly.The latter were called "mukhannathun," and accepted within the boundaries of Islam.
Consequently, I can only construct a history that is dry and vague at times, and intriguing at others.